Saint Thomas, 3rd July 2021
We live in a world of spin. It’s become obvious recently that climate change is with us and there’s no going back. But this possibility has been known for well over fifty years and obscured by spin, by the fossil-fuel companies and interests muddying the waters; green-washing before green -washing became fashionable, until denial became fashionable too. And such denial may well be an enduring characteristic of what it means to be human going all the way back to Adam and Eve – let’s blame someone, or something, else – it’s never me. And, in this light, our task has always been one of taking responsibility for the truth – personal responsibility that is, no matter what other persons may be thinking or saying. And here we come to the essence of Thomas for us, for he both doubts and believes or, in the words of another Thomas, Thomas Merton,
To live prophetically you’ve got to be questioning and looking at factors behind the facts. You’ve got to be aware that there are contradictions. In a certain sense, our prophetic vocation consists in hurting from the contradictions in society.(Springs 157)
And one might add, also from within ourselves. We are contradictory people but capable of belief; that is, of recognising truth when it comes; that is, when it’s gifted to us in the person of Christ. So most of the time we’re waiting for that gift and discover it in our waiting, in our prayer, as coming at us all the time, in the most unlikely of people and places. Thomas, then, as our mentor in waiting for the truth, perhaps the essence of belief.
Happy are they who have not seen and yet believe
that is, who are prepared to wait and act now ‘as if’ it were all true, climate change included. Waiting for all the dots to be joined will be too late.